- Paperback: 208 pages
- Publisher: Paladin Press (July 1, 1997)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0873649346
- ISBN-13: 978-0873649346
- Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.5 x 8.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 65 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #753,183 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Championship Streetfighting: Boxing As A Martial Art Paperback – July 1, 1997
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I do have problems with some of his claims about boxing and history, such as the jab originated in the 18th century and that ancient boxers as found in Egypt, Rome, and Greece just threw big looping punches. There is no evidence for such claims. His characterizations of martial arts, particularly of the “strip mall” variety are sometimes very accurate and worthwhile to mention, but there is a tendency to lump all martial arts together, and this is extremely problematic. I think this may just be a product of the time period in which he wrote this book, where practical fighting arts among martial arts were much more rare in America (it was first published in 1977).
This is a quote that I think is representative of his writing style, and that I actually enjoyed: “Kung Fu and most other martial arts teach effective [sometimes] techniques that would be fouls in a ring, but all the tiger claws, scorpion hands, and chicken necks of the Oriental ‘masters’ won’t work as well in a real fight as will one rabbit punch.” (Beaumont 139) A rabbit punch in a punch to the back of your opponent's neck (seventh vertebra, neck itself, or the base of the skull). This is a move we use often in Hawaiian Kenpo (CHA-3, a cousin of Kajukenbo), and it is extremely effective (though potentially deadly).
I'm thinking of copying the pages on infighting (my personal favorite range to fight at) and giving them to my students. I teach everything in them through motion, drills, etc., but Beaumont does a great job of breaking everything down, and I think it will be useful to help students understand infighting in a way few guys training in martial arts or MMA do.
Actually, I'm thinking of getting as many people I know who train seriously to buy the book, from students to instructors. It has so much useful information in it, from the solid infighting I mentioned above, to solid boxing, to "illegal" strikes like hammer fists, my favorite equalizer of elbows, headbutts, throws, "fouls", setting up a training regimen in the gym or at home, practical street fighting advice based on examples from the greatest boxers in the past, etc. that I can't help but recommend it. I have been taught and have taught many of these things over the decades in have been involved in martial arts, combat sports, and fighting, but I really haven't seen them all gathered together in such a way.
I am interested in practical self-defense and have studied various Asian martial arts on and off for 15 years. Although I have learned much from them and respect their traditions, I have always found Western-style punches to be more effective. I wanted to discover more about how a boxer punches and how a boxer would fight in "real" (not sport) situations.
This book gives the best explanation of hooking that I have ever come across. After years of being in the dark, I can finally throw a proper hook! In fact, all of the explanations are quite clear and easy to implement.
The "Lessons from the Champs" interspersed throughout the book are not only entertaining and historically interesting, they really underline the author's points.
Some people might be put off by the author's digs on Asian martial arts, but as an Asian martial arts veteran, I mostly agreed with him. Frankly, I found his disparaging comments to be lighthearted, considering that he praises and encourages the use of non-boxing techniques (elbows, palm-heel strikes, grappling, etc.) throughout the book.
The bibliography seems very useful and I look forward to reading many of the books presented.
Not a negative per se, but do not expect the same level of instruction on something non-boxing, such as using elbows, as something common to boxing, such as an uppercut.
- Final Thoughts
I enjoyed this book as much as Jack Dempsey's great book (from which a lot of Beaumont's material is derived). If you are also interested in learning how to avoid and prepare for fighting and its aftermath, I recommend Facing Violence: Preparing for the Unexpected.
The majority of "Championship Streetfighting" discusses various techniques and combinations to use boxing for self-defense. This includes the basics of jabs, hooks, upper-cuts, and straight punches. Also discussed are fouls and dirty tricks, which while banned in the sport boxing ring, and very effective for self-defense.
The book ends with a few suggestions for training and getting into shape such as speed bag, heavy bag, conditioning and road work.
"Championship Streetfighting" is mostly text, with just a few illustrations. While perhaps not a training manual, anyone with some basic skill to begin with can certainly learn a few new techniques to add to his arsenal of self-defense capabilities. If you understand a little more than the mere basics of boxing, "Championship Streetfighting" becomes much more useful in teaching combinations which are extremely effective for real-world self-defense.
About the only criticism (and a minor criticism at that) I can offer about the book is that it is a bit light on illustrations. More illustrations or photographs demonstrating the techniques discussed in the text would have enhanced what is otherwise an excellent book.
Mr. Beaumont's recommendation that one interested in self-defense should develop skill in boxing is certainly well-founded. And "Championship Streetfighting" is certainly well recommended for anyone interested in boxing as a martial art.
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form of self defense.